Stupid turkeys… 

Okay, in all honesty, this time it was stupid turkey hunter.  Sometimes the littlest of things makes all the difference.  In my case, this year it was Rolaids.  Yes, Rolaids.  I had the third season this year and scrambled last minute to get things all lined up Tuesday evening for my trip to my cabin.  About half way there I remembered that I had not grabbed my heartburn medication.  I can usually last no more than a day and a half without it.  Fortunately, I was close to a convenience store and swung in to grab a couple rolls of, you guessed it, Rolaids.  I figured I could limp through a couple days with them.

My opening morning was cold, actually ice fishing cold, go figure.  Anyway, the woods were pretty quiet, but I did have one gobbler that responded to my limited calling ability and was slowly making his way in.  Then, out popped a hen right into the midst of my decoy spread.  She bebopped around for a little while and then headed up the road, unfortunately for me, in the direction the gobbler was coming from.  Long story short, apparently, he preferred the real thing and off they went.  The rest of the day was a bust.  As was Thursday morning.  But, through it all, I was a couple days into my hunting with no heartburn problems, so that was a huge plus.

On Thursday evening I was well into the hunt, with maybe an hour to go until closing time.  That’s when the first hint of heartburn reared its head.  No problem, I figured, just pop in a couple Rolaids and tame it down.  I had my bow on my lap, with my release clipped on.  This was a necessity for me because I was wearing a facemask (not the COVID kind!) and no glasses, since the mask fogs them up.  Anyway, I unhooked my release and set the bow aside so I could reach into my pocket and grab my Rolaids.  At that exact moment, a big Tom comes running past me about three yards out and locks up to tangle with my decoy set.  Here I am, my hand in my pocket, bow leaning against my leg, totally unprepared for what would be a ten-yard shot.  My efforts to get my hand out of my pocket, grab my bow and fumble for what seemed like forever with my blurry vision to attach my release did not go unnoticed.  (I know what you traditional guys are thinking about now, and yah, you’re right).  Anyway, Tom decided the ruckus in the blind was not good for his future survival and moved out to the edge of the clearing, just as a second Tom came barreling in the same way as the first.  It seems these two Toms were buddies, because Tom One told Tom Two what was up and as I finally got hooked up and ready to go, both birds had moved off.

I hate turkeys.  I hope you folks all had better luck than I did.

As this issue of The Bowhunter reaches you we are just weeks away from the annual WBH State Broadhead Shoot.  The shoot will be held on September 9, 10 and 11, 2022 at Kennedy Park in New Lisbon, WI.  This will be the second year of our two-year trial to allow non-members to shoot.  So, if you have a friend who is maybe somewhat on the fence about what WBH is all about, this would be a great way to introduce them to your association.  There is so much more to the shoot than just shooting the course.  It’s a great time to meet old friends and make new ones, while sharing your passion for bowhunting.  Check out the ad in this issue for full details.  I hope to see you there!

Also in this issue of The Bowhunter, check out the article “Ask Not What WBH Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For WBH”, written by District 3 Director Rick Mechelke.  In the article Rick discusses many ways that you can get involved to help grow and support WBH as we work to Preserve, Promote and Protect bowhunting in Wisconsin.  To that end, you will see a new form in the News and Notes section, and on the WBH website, that will allow you to provide contact information and indicate areas of interest where you may be able to help out, such as assisting at youth events, growing membership, helping with the annual convention, fundraising, etc.  From the information you provide we will build a contact list and when something comes up that you have shown interest in, we will reach out to you. This does not obligate you to do anything unless you are willing and able to help out at that time.  Hopefully you will see this as a good opportunity to get involved.


Speaking of events, WBH attended several sport shows this year, geared toward showcasing WBH and our ongoing efforts on behalf of bowhunters.  At most of these events we have Archery Alley set up to provide folks the opportunity to shoot a bow and arrow, in many cases, for the first time.  We have had shooters as young as two up to folks well into their eighties!  Regardless of the age, the smiles are the same.  WBH also assisted at the two-day MOHEE event in Poynette again this year, literally assisting hundreds of kids as they explored archery, again in many cases, for the first time.  A big thank you to the directors and WBH members who were able to make the trip to Poynette to assist.

I would also like to say a big thank you to the many members who continue to support WBH every year by participating in the various raffles we run.  The funds raised from these raffles help to support the day-to-day operations of the association and also help us keep membership dues as low as possible.  Conducting raffles without running afoul of the state gaming commission or USPS is an ongoing challenge.  While WBH always makes a good faith effort to remain in compliance with all of the various regulations, it seems to be somewhat of a moving target at times, with conflicting information at every turn.  That said, we have brought back the Big Bucks in November raffle in a big way this year.  Check out the ad in this issue for full details, but suffice it to say, this is a good one!  In addition to the chance of winning $500.00 every day in November, one lucky winner will also win an all-inclusive African safari, including lodging, meals and even $1.000.00 to help with airfare, trophies or any other expense!  Tickets are extremely limited for this raffle, so act fast.

Lastly, I would like to mention the many archery clubs who have placed ads in THE Bowhunter to promote the various shoots held around the state throughout the year.  There is truly something for everybody.  You can find shoots that fit your skill level and equipment choices, as well as shoots designed to get the entire family involved.  And, what better way to get dialed in for the coming hunting season than by shooting at realistic targets in realistic hunting situations.  I thank all of the clubs for the work they do to provide archers with these opportunities.  There is a lot of cost, planning and manpower required to put on these quality shoots.  Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity and at the same time, support these fine clubs.

I hope all of the practice time you put in leading up to this hunting season leads you to a hunt of a lifetime.  And, consider telling your story to your fellow members by submitting it to THE Bowhunter.  We would love to share your story!

Wishing you health, happiness and success in all you do.


Dave Peterson


Wisconsin Bowhunters Association